Should We Love Satan?

A young girl asked me this question: "Should we love Satan?" She clarified her question by saying Jesus taught us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44-45) and that Satan is our enemy (1 Peter 5:8).

After careful consideration of the question, I answered something like this. All of mankind has hope; the apostle Paul said he had a goal or an aim to "... present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Colossians 1:28). We are to seek every man's highest good -- that is to love him that he might be saved. On the other hand, Satan's eternity has been sealed, there is not anything that man can do or should do to change that. We are told that Satan has gone forth with great wrath because he knows that he has but a short time (Revelation 12:12). Jesus tells us that he has prepared a lake of fire for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).

What should be our attitude towards Satan? We should follow the example of Michael the archangel who refused to get involved with Satan, even in a discussion. Michael was willing to leave Satan in God's hands. He said, "The Lord rebuke thee" (Jude 9). Our attitude towards Satan should be to resist him. God said, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). We are to be on guard and watchful because Satan is our enemy trying to devour us (1 Peter 5:8).

Satan has many devices; he is tricky. He is trying to lead us to the grave separated from God (2 Corinthians 2:11). He is trying to blind our minds to the word of God through unbelief (2 Corinthians 4:4).

We are not instructed in the inspired scripture to love Satan, but to overcome him. The only way we can do this is to fill our hearts with the word of God (1 John 2:14). Jesus is our example; Satan threw everything he had at Jesus -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- and each time Jesus would answer, "It is written." He defeated Satan with the word of God, and He did not try to convert him (Matthew 4:1-11) because Satan's eternity in the lake of fire had already been sealed.

In the context of Matthew 5, when Jesus said, "Love your enemies," He was discussing our relationship with our fellow man and not with Satan.

Roy Dunavin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 25 May 1997

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